A day in the life of Melissa Watson

As a gap year student fast approaching the dawn of my journalism degree, I couldn’t be more grateful for my position in the Approach office. My typical day involves tapping into my inner sponge and soaking up as much experience as I can, developing skills and learning techniques which will be invaluable as I embark on my journey into the journalistic realm.

7:00am

My day starts with that oh so familiar alarm beckoning me into the waking world. A brisk walk on Ilkley Moor with our dog soon clears away my cobwebs before I head into town to start my day at Approach HQ.

9:00am

After a warm welcome from the team I head out to collect the day’s papers and we move to the breakout room to digest the morning’s stories. We flick through the publications to give us a good understanding of the day’s local landscape, whilst keeping an eye out for any client coverage and interesting articles (and perhaps the odd Love Island update.)

9:30am

I’m briefed by Betty on the day’s to-do list, which usually involves moving between several different clients and working on individual tasks from each member of the team. I really enjoy the variety of my position as my movement between clients gives me a window into several industries in a single day and means my work doesn’t become monotonous or repetitive. Today my first task is a social media planner for a hospitality client which means I spend my morning drooling over pictures of avocado on toast and perfectly glazed pastries – what I wouldn’t give for a croissant right about now.

10:30am

Next up is a sell in for a retail client; this involves calling up the journalists and speaking about a press release for them to run in a related publication. I’ll then email it over, usually along with some snazzy press photos, and log it all in the sell in table so we can keep track of which release is where.

11:30am

On to one of my favourite things to do – press releases. My passion definitely sits in the writing camp and I love getting stuck into a good bit of copy for a client. Today’s release is for a local manufacturer so, after being briefed by Anisha on the context around the event, I set on writing the story, something I imagine I will become very used to once September rolls around.

12:30pm

Lunchtime! Writing is hungry work – by half past twelve I’m always famished! Sometimes I sit in the office kitchen watching the world go by, but today I’m heading out for lunch with my friend in a local café. It’s a nice way to clear my head after the busy morning and curb my carb cravings with a delicious toastie and a cappuccino caffeine spike.

1:30pm

I’m back in the office with a fresh pair of eyes and crack on to my next job. Today it’s an audit for some potential new business so I set out creating a spreadsheet to organise the information. I do a quick overview of each business, covering their social media and general news presence as well as that of their competitors and log it all in the general database.

3:30pm

It’s normally at this point in the afternoon when I move on to tea from one of the office’s many Take That mugs and inject a little Gary-Barlow-fuelled joy into the end of my day. Then I Take That & Party into a photography brief to go alongside the press release I wrote this morning.

4:15pm

I end my day with a final coverage check and follow up from a sell in I did a couple of days ago. I go through news providers the story was sent to and check to see if they published the release. If so I copy the link into the spreadsheet to keep track of all the coverage we achieve. If I can’t find the story, I do a follow up call to make sure it was sent to the right email address. This usually involves a conversation with the journalist to remind them of the story and taking down any notes if it hasn’t been used.

5:00pm

That marks the end of my day! Today the weather is glorious so I enjoy another walk with my family before settling down for a evening on the sofa!